27,28 “God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’”
Acts 17:27,28 (NIV)
What is one thing that bothers every athlete or coach? Could it be when we are pegged as one-dimensional?
One-dimensional lines like these below fly around all the time and hurt when they land.
- Just a spot-up shooter
- Can hit, but can’t field
- Can score, but can’t defend
- Just a role player
- Talented, but doesn’t have what it takes
- Can’t win the big one
- Good guy, but can’t really play
- Just a jock; you can’t expect more
- That’s where they’re from. No changing them.
Which one hits you hard?
We sure have a tendency to see others one-dimensionally. And we often do this with God too. We limit Him in our expectations, with our unbelief. I bet He’s affronted when we peg Him as less.
This is how we do it ...
Down through the centuries most people concede to believing there is a creator, someone who set things in motion and caused it all to happen. We will give “God” that prop.
But that is often as far as we go. We leave Him there, one dimensionally distant, expecting Him to walk away from His creation and leave us alone. God is more. Acts 17 highlights this.
Set in Athens, Greece, the brightest and best minds of that day huddled and agreed that there is a creator but that He is unknowable. Therefore He should settle for limited playing time with us. It’s our game now.
The apostle Paul argued that this “Unknown God” actually is knowable and more -- He brings multiple dimensions to the table and deserves maximum playing time in our lives. Here are other dimensions of God highlighted in Acts 17:
LIFE-GIVING PROVIDER: Acts 17:25 declares that God “gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” That means He keeps bringing life.
He doesn’t roll things out and walk away. He stays involved. He keeps breathing life and hope into people. And the term “everything else” means He provides a ton more than we think!
IMMINENT ONE: Acts 17:27 states, “He is not far from any one of us.” That means God is near, nearer than we think. He is not removed, He is within reach.
He doesn’t step back from what He’s made. Why? God wants ongoing relationship with His creation. He wants to love and be loved. And He’s committed to this. So He stays near to all.
SUPREME SUSTAINER: Acts 17:28 tells us, “For in Him we live and move and have our being.“ God sets in motion more than we think. He has more game than we give Him credit for.
God infuses everything. He sustains everything. He holds it all together (Colossians 1:17). He really is MVP of the universe, not just a founding father or first club president.
JUST JUDGE: Acts 17:31 states, “For He has set a day when He will judge the world with justice by the Man He has appointed.“ This calls our attention to God as a just Judge, not just Creator.
We need a just judge. That’s a part of our game that really needs help. Our world is filled with injustice and unjust judging. And we are sinfully unjust too.
God is committed to addressing our need for justice. Only with justice comes true peace. Hallelujah for an appointed Just Judge!
POWERFUL HOPE: Acts 17:31 goes on to say, “He has given proof of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.“ The “Him” refers to Jesus. God strikingly proved to the world that His game has real authority by raising the dead.
None of us can stop death’s advances or reverse them. Only He can. His power is unrivaled and good. It brings hope to the world through Christ.
Reflect: Are you seeing God as one-dimensional (just the creator) or truly more? What dimension of God touched you today -- Life-Giving Provider, Imminent One, Supreme Sustainer, Just Judge, Powerful Hope?
Who else might need to expand his or her view of God by you sharing a verse from today’s text?
A prayer to consider: LORD God Almighty, You are so dimensional, way more than Creator. I worship you as my Provider, Sustainer, Just Judge, and All Powerful One. Your Son and your Spirit support this so well. Thank you for always choosing to be near. You really have got game. I long to play for You all my days. Amen.